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Federal debt lowest since 1993

CP   2004-01-14 03:49:31  

OTTAWA -- Your share of the federal government's net debt has fallen to its lowest level since 1993, Statistics Canada says. As of March 31, 2003, the government's net debt, defined as the excess of liabilities over financial assets, fell to $526.5 billion, down $8.2 billion from a year earlier.

Per person, the net debt decreased to $16,691 from $17,107, the agency reported yesterday.

"A decrease of $2.7 billion in financial assets and a reduction of $10.9 billion in liabilities explain this drop."

As a percentage of gross domestic product, the federal net debt decreased to 43.5 per cent in 2003 from 47.6 per cent in 2002, the lowest since 1984, the agency said.

However, before you break out the champagne, consider that in 1971, when the net debt was 19.9 per cent of GDP, each Canadian shared just $863 of the load.

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